Vastavam web: The Indian women’s team’s historic performance at the Commonwealth Games has even attracted the attention of table-tennis powerhouse China, says chief national coach Massimo Costantini.The Indian women’s team historic performance at the Commonwealth Games has even attracted the attention of table-tennis powerhouse China, says chief national coach Massimo Costantini.”We are getting a lot of respect from everyone. When we were playing China in the World Championships (earlier this May), they were very concerned about playing us. Some of the coaches like China’s coach even asked for the video of the match in which India beat Singapore (to win the CWG gold),” India’s Italian coach told.
Costantini, who also served as the chief coach of the national team from early 2009 till the end of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, played a vital role in the squad’s CWG success. A month later, he guided the men’s team to finish 13th in the Championship Division of the World Team Championships at Halmstad in Sweden.However, the Manika-led women’s team was not able to take the winning momentum of the CWG forward and finished a dismal 17th, beating just one of its opponents.Asked about the reason behind the drastic drop in performance of the women, the former USA coach said he saw it coming.”It’s not their fault because when you have such a good performance you can’t recover in one week as they are not used to it. The men are used to playing international games week after week.
“Our women are not ready. I am working on making them understand their responsibilities, making them learn how to get rid of the pressure of the previous match, handle exposure and reset themselves in short time.” On the contrary, the coach expected more from the men.”The men were participating for the first time in the championship division. They were playing to make history. I thought with this team and the opponents they should have reached the top 12 but we just missed the mark by a little bit.”The Asian Games are to be held in Jakarta and will see participation from table-tennis powerhouse China, besides other top teams such as South and North Korea and Japan.
“Preparations will be key and the pro tournaments in Korea and Australia will tell us how the Asian games will be,” Costantini said.”Before the CWG we played in Qatar, Poland and Germany and Manika performed well in all of them so that’s why I had a feeling she will do well in the CWG. Right now I want them to reach the lowest level of their form because from there only I can start my rebuilding process,” the jovial Italian said.Manika became the toast of the nation after her sensational performance in Gold Coast and the coach feels she is growing to be the ideal role model for women’s game in India.